Golden Tate did not sign with the Giants to replace Odell Beckham Jr. He did not sign with the Giants to be part of a rebuild. He signed with the Giants, he said, for just one reason.
And he thinks the Giants are close to being able to do that.
“I'm really excited where we're headed,” the wide receiver said Friday on a conference call after signing his four-year contract with the team he said he grew up watching and rooting for. “I really believe that you can win games while you build…I don't think we're as far off as people may think or see us, but only time is going to tell.”
That he is already regurgitating scripts from general manager Dave Gettleman, who earlier in the week after the team traded Beckham declared his “win while you build” philosophy, likely endears him to the organization. That he is excited to play with Eli Manning and thinks the Giants have “a really good quarterback” gives him another gold star from management. In two sentences he showed himself to be nothing at all like Beckham.
But his real job will be on the field trying to help Giants fans move on from their divorce with the superstar.
"Odell is a tremendous talent,” he said. “He's a buddy of mine. I enjoy watching him. I love his game. He's just a complete receiver. He can run, he can run routes, he can catch, great personality, very likable guy. As far as me, I'm just coming in and doing my job. I'm just coming in and putting my head down and working and do the best I can. That's one thing that I try not to do is compare myself to anyone.”
That’ll be for everyone else to do.
Tate is not as dynamic as Beckham, but he does give the Giants a tough, gritty receiver who has been productive and boasts a solid resume that includes a Super Bowl title and a Pro Bowl. He’ll be 31 this season, but has no recent history of significant injuries and has shown few signs of slowing down.
As for the rest of the roster? There are still some holes to fill, Tate admitted. But the offseason is only a few days old.
“I don't have all the answers for what this organization needs, or what this organization is missing, but I do have trust in the coaching staff that I've had the chance to speak with, and their vision and what they want to achieve,” he said. “It's not going to be easy always, but I do believe, from the little that I know, that we can win. We're not starting from square one. We have some good players…I can't wait to get to work and see how far we can take this.”
College of (former) Cardinals
Linebacker Markus Golden and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre both officially signed with the Giants on Friday, giving the team three new defensive players this offseason who played under defensive coordinator James Bettcher when he was with the Cardinals and four on the roster. The Giants signed safety Antoine Bethea on Thursday and linebacker Kareem Martin signed with the Giants last year. Golden arrives on a Giants team devoid of an established pass rusher. He had 12.5 sacks in 2016 under Bettcher and his 19 career sacks are almost three times more than anyone else on the roster (Alec Ogletree has 6.5). He said he’s hoping to regain that form after missing 2017 with a torn ACL and being miscast in a 4-3 scheme in 2018. “Coach Bettch is going to let you get after it,” Golden said. “We play to win. When you’re on the field he’s going to call aggressive plays, and you’re going to be able to hunt and go get after the quarterback. Stopping the run, setting the edges, everything is physical and downhill and that’s what I like about it. I’m glad I’m getting the opportunity to play for him again.”
No deal for Remmers
Veteran offensive lineman Mike Remmers met with the Giants on Friday but left without signing a contract. Remmers’ agent Brett Tessler wrote on Twitter that it was a “great visit” and that there is a “very good chance we could be getting something done with them in the not too distant future.” Nothing is imminent, he said, but the two sides could come together “a little further down the road.” Remmers, 29, can play guard and tackle and has familiarity for the Giants having played under both Gettleman in Carolina and Pat Shurmur in Minnesota.